SINGAPORE (July 3): The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many to stay at home with lockdowns occurring globally. With that, many had to turn to online services to get things done.

According to financial literacy platform SingSaver, Singaporeans have been seen embracing more digital services when taking charge of their finances and this is a shift that most believe will stick even after the pandemic is over.

SingSaver conducted a survey, which found that 70% of respondents across Singapore have used online banking “frequently” since the outbreak of the pandemic, with 65% stating they are “somewhat” or “very” comfortable using these digital tools.

This is especially true for 61% of Singapore’s older population aged 54 and above, who agree they are using online tools frequently. In fact, 69% of respondents in this age group say they are “somewhat” or “very” comfortable with online banking tools - the same percentage as those in the 35-44 age group (69%), and slightly more than those in the 44-54 age group (67%).

According to the survey, digital banking seems likes it will remain beyond the pandemic as 80% of respondents say that they will continue with online banking services in the future.

Beyond online banking, this increased adoption has also had a spillover effect, with 70% of respondents saying they are also more likely to purchase groceries and other essentials online even after the pandemic dies down. Interestingly, more than half of respondents (53%) aged 54 and above also agree with this.

Prashant Aggarwal, interim Country Manager of SingSaver says, “The pandemic has clearly provided Singaporeans with the impetus and time to gain familiarity and comfort with more online services. It’s interesting to see how this has been the catalyst many needed for adoption, given that the majority intend to keep using these digital tools beyond the pandemic.”

“However, the key to maintaining this adoption and ensuring greater financial health lies in ongoing education. SingSaver aims to bridge this gap by continuing to enable financial literacy with tools and insights that help Singaporeans make informed financial decisions,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has caused several to lose their jobs and undergo pay cuts. Many are also concerned about the recession that will come with the pandemic.

Hence, it is no surprise that Singaporeans used their time during the circuit breaker to take charge of their finances and learn to be more financially prudent. SingSaver’s survey found that 53% of Singaporeans have actively researched different methods and options to save money while stuck at home.

And when it came to building and expanding an emergency fund, 33% of respondents said that they were committed. Surprisingly, the majority (36%) of those that agreed to this are millennials aged 25 to 24, as compared to the other age groups.

Several offices and businesses were forced to halt during the circuit breaker period and some people were stuck at home and unable to work. To that end, 33% of the respondents cited creating additional streams of income as a key action they took due to Covid-19.

In particular, there is a significant proportion of respondents aged 35 to 44 (sandwich generation) who are committed to both building emergency funds (35%) and creating additional income streams (37%).

Overall, a large 87% of respondents agree the pandemic has reoriented them to adopt a lower consumption and higher savings habit, while 89% want to be more prudent and intentional about their personal finance due to the pandemic.